In 2008 Europacolon established the month of March as European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month as an annual awareness raising initiative. Together with our Associate and Affiliate network comprising of over 40 groups across more than 30 countries, for the past 10 years we have looked at creating exciting and innovative ways of raising awareness on the importance of prevention and early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. The March campaigns have often continued throughout the year reaching ever increasing audiences.

This is a cancer that is both preventable and treatable if diagnosed at an early stage.

Last year was a significant year for EuropaColon as this was the year when we launched our survey on the Unmet Needs of Patients Living with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC). Our goal was to recruit a minimum of 1,000 patients from 12 countries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and UK). Currently we have recruited more than 600 patients and in four of those countries (Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Spain) we have reached the target number of 100 patients, in some cases more. We could not have done this without the help of patients, clinicians, nurses and our groups. It was clear that all the contributors clearly understood the significant changes that could be actioned with these survey results. We will continue with the recruitment until target numbers have been reached.

We know that colorectal cancer is predominantly a disease of the over 50 ‘s (with an unfortunate recent increase of those under 50 being diagnosed). Data has shown that the equivalent of more than 12 bus loads of people die each day from colorectal cancer in Europe and yet this is a disease that is preventable and treatable.

So have we done enough? ……enough awareness raising, enough lobbying for effective formal population screening or for equal access to treatment and care across Europe?

Obviously still more needs to be done…….which is why we believe it is #Time4Change!

The survey result will help us to identify what the issues and challenges are in different European countries. We already know from preliminary data from our survey that we will need to strongly encourage health ministries to implement formal population screening programmes where there are non, a proven cost-effective way of saving people’s lives. We will also work toward the goal that minimal requirements of standard of care are available for ALL colorectal cancer patients, regardless of who they are and where they live. Our ultimate goal will be to ensure that fewer Europeans die from colorectal cancer every day.

The time is now! It’s #Time4Change!

See what our countries have been up to so far this ECCAM

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